Instant Recap: 2019 DCI World Championship Prelims

Good morning, everyone, and welcome to today's live blog of the 2019 DCI World Championship Prelims live blog! My name is Krista and I will be providing you with live commentary of all of the performances today. We're starting bright and early at 10 am and will be blogging all day so be sure to refresh often to get the best of each performance. 


Inbhear Mor - Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

- All the way from Ireland, we're opening with an international ensemble! 

- One of the cool things about smaller ensembles is how you can really see every single performer. Every single member becomes incredibly exposed. 

- Who doesn't love a little crowd participation with the clapping during 'Somebody to Love'

- Sure to be a once in a lifetime performance for these members. Thank you for traveling to the states to share your show with us!


Heat Wave - Cape Coral, FL

- Our first open class corps, now taking the field!

- Did you catch the bow and arrow stick trick from the front ensemble? So fun. 

- Wolf eye flags from the colorguard are incredibly eerie. 

- Nice bass feature, from one of the smallest bass lines we will see today

- 'Fix You' is a nice ballad choice in the context of the show. Beautiful. It even echoes into the closer


Les Stentors - Sherbrooke, QC

- Another international corps, but this time from Canada. 

- This is their first year back in Open Class after a season off to do Sound Sport last year. 

- Our first vocalists of the day, with a great start to the show. 

- Nice entrance coming from behind the props for the rifle line. Looks like this is turning into whole colorguard rifle work 

- Did you catch that bass one is currently playing (and carrying) two drums?! Stacked one on top of the other. Brings double bass to a whole new meaning. 

- Lots of exposed piano for this entire show. Kudos to the synth performer. He even closes out the show incredibly well. Congrats to the corps for an incredible season. 


Raiders - Burlington, NJ

- Here come the Raiders, who just on Tuesday night came in 12th at the Open Class championships. 

- The props are versatile and I'm sure the performers like that they're relatively easy to move around the field. 

- Just noticed that the drumline is wearing a different uniform than the rest of the corps. Wonder why that is. 

- Lovely moment from the flag soloist near the center prop

- And finally bringing it all home with a strong push to the end, the brass exit the field and it looks like the gateway is finally closed. Congratulations, Raiders!


Colt Cadets - Dubuque, IA

- The Colt Cadets finished in 11th place on Tuesday at Open Class championships. This was their first time making Open Class finals since 2015.

- And with a big yell it looks like they're ready to take the field! From a few parents in the crowd too. 

- It's impossible to kick-off and play 'Don't Stop Me Now' without a heck of a lot of fun and energy and this corps is showing that. 

- Love how the front ensemble members swap instruments around. Allows students to learn and get comfortable on multiple instruments. Holding those one-handed octaves isn't easy either! 

- In the span of about one movement, the whole corps has removed their corps jackets and end the show looking like they're ready to take flight! 

- Congratulations to the Colt Cadets on an excellent season. 


Shadow - Oregon, WI

- Welcome Shadow to the field! While they've been an organization for a long time as a competitive marching band (since 1972), they became a DCI corps as of 2016. They're also currently the only corps sponsored by a high school. 

- The color of the feathers in the aussies are so beautiful from the stands! 

- The one rogue member at the center of it all, for both the hornline and the colorguard. The uniform is such a standout but perfectly contrasting colors. 

- Looks like we might be having some technical difficulties with electronics in the front ensemble but the performers are acting as if nothing has changed and doing their best to keep pressing on. That's the drum corps way. 

- Considering how new the corps is, it's incredible how well these kids are doing. AND they're all under 18. Congrats to Shadow! 


Golden Empire - Bakersfield, CA

- Here's a fun fact as they're getting set up, this is only Golden Empire's second appearance at World Championships. They finished in 9th in Open Class World Championships, two places above their 11th place finish last year. 

- Some quick runs up and a LOT of performance energy coming from that front ensemble. 

- The baritone soloist has a wonderful sound and the new colorguard flags with the feather! So good. 

- The drumline pulls us back in quickly after their movement in the ballad. 

- Don't get too close to the sun! Congrats to Golden Empire on a great season. 


Intermission time! 

Grab a snack, hit the bathrooms, pick up some merch, do what you've gotta do. 


While on the break, we did get a few scores:

Heat Wave - 60.05

Les Stentors - 63.15

Raiders - 62.45

Colt Cadets - 64.425

Shadow - 66.30

Golden Empire - 68.475


River City Rhythm - Anoka, MN

- Some of the funnest opening choreography that we've seen so far today, really did a great show conveying a busy newsroom

- Very upbeat opener there, The fact that some of the brass members ended up on the stools was so seamless

- Even though the trumpet soloist is fairly far away from the microphone, they sound great. 

- Did they just make a CNN logo? I'm sitting a little low in the stadium but that's certainly what it looked like from my angle. 

- The extra sound clips on top of the show are just the icing on the cake, the show is pretty straightforward, but they're edited together to create a nice tone. It conveys the chaos nicely. 

- Really didn't want that show to end. Great job, River City! 


Guardians - Houston, TX

- Keep your eyes peeled (haha get it) for everything that the Guardians are doing on the field today. There's a lot to see. 

- The salute with the apple is a nice touch on the DM's part

- By starting facing another direction, it makes that much bigger of an impact when the horns and drums do actually start playing facing the front. That wave visual was very cool too. Adds a nice effect. 

- A fun bowler hat set! Love it. 

- Special shout out to the member that had to move the microphone to that soloist. Looks like a rack player? Absolutely sold the performance of moving a microphone. 

- Despite the fact that those last few moments were absolute chaos, there was certainly a lot of control on the member's parts. It's so easy to let go in moments like that and you just can't. 

- An aside as they start to move off of the field, this is their 4th time as a corps participating in Open Class competition. They placed 7th in Open Class finals. 


7th Regiment - New London, CT

- Nice strong start from 7th, their uniforms even match the Indianapolis Colts colors, so they match accents on the field super well. Unintentionally, of course. 

- Here comes the drumline to drive a strong ending to that movement after being quiet for quite some time. 

- Ah! The cymbal line made a 7! Like their version of the Vanguard 'V' always cool to see adapted traditions. 

- Colorguard working hard during this flag feature to close everything out! 

- Crazy performance energy coming out of this front ensemble too. Thank you 7th and congrats on a great season!


Southwind - Mobile, AL

- Southwind has had an incredible last few years. After being on hiatus from 2008-2013 and some Sound Sport years in between, the corps is now on its third consecutive appearance here in Indianapolis. They placed 5th at Open Class championships after placing 10th just last year. 

- LOVE the drum major's uniform. That white on black pattern just looks sleek. 

 - They held nothing back with that first hit. Wow. Plus some great performing from the members tasked with rattling the cages. 

- VERY strong end to that movement. Caged within the cage and also the colorguard.

- This colorguard work up front of the 'cage' is beautiful, paired with the brass it is a powerful moment and super visually appealing

- And they break free! Straight into another beautiful moment across the field and into a blasting company front. What a great way to end it. 


Louisiana Stars - Lafayette, LA

- Yet another corps having a great year! This corps scored 4th at Open Class finals, jumping 4th places from last year. They've also improved year over year by over 4.5 points. 

- Wow. I guess the Louisiana Stars don't need a baton... Also that uniform is wild. SO many sequins. 

- High brass starting off with a nice moment up front and the low brass coming back and echoing it on the opposite side of the 50

- The marimba player on Shekere is really giving it all he's got. LOVE the energy. 

- You can never go wrong with 'Take 5' as a little transition interlude. 

- Did I spy a little Macarena moment in that little bit of horn choreo? 

- Looks like that show is an absolute blast to perform on all fronts. And that was quite the ending with the Shekere. Again, so fun. 


Gold - San Diego, CA

- Gold is taking the field with the most tarps of the day so far. The way it winds around the field is sort of like the Troopers show 'The Road Home' from 2011. 

- Love the drumline following the road across the field in their first moves, landing in the middle for that first big hit. 

- White uniforms always give that extra pop on the field, they're just so visually appealing. 

- The pit went absolutely wild with the cymbals that movement. 

- Ahh! The guard is spinning gold dollar signs. AND diamonds!

- Those guard uniforms at the end, exposing the gold tops! So good. They pop incredibly well, and are almost blinding from up in the stands. 


Legends - Kalamazoo, MI

- Here are our silver medalists from Tuesday night, Legends!

- Loved the move showing the cape from the hornline, never would have noticed the print otherwise. 

- And a quick uniform change from the guard and the Sirens emerge

- The guard interacting with all the members, temporarily putting them under a spell, especially while they're playing. Helps show how much the hornline will have to overcome in the end. 

- These ocean-like flags are beautiful. A great choice for this ballad. 

- Very nice and smooth bass lick there. 

- The corps fights back! Just when you think it's over, they still drag a member away. Great run, Legends!


Spartans - Nashua, NH

- Now for our Open Class champions, the Spartans! This is their first championship win since 2007. This is their 6th championship total, with the previous 5 being from the Division 2 era. 

- Starting off in this huge X, of course makes sense for Experiment X. 

- Very intricate footwork off to side two with the hornline. 

- The guard is absolutely putting in work on this show. Some of the toughest stuff we've seen of the day thus far. 

- I imagine I'm not alone in thinking those were speakers on carts up front and not Cajons for the front ensemble to play! So cool. AND it goes right along with the snare feature!

- Love this arrangement of Shofukan, especially in the front ensemble. 

- An incredibly fun closer. A blast to watch and it looks like the performers had an absolute blast. Certainly a well-deserved championship for them. 


Time for another intermission! We'll be back in just about another 40 minutes. 


I didn't grab the scores from this last block, sorry! I will post there here as soon as I get them, but they have been announced. 


Seattle Cascades - Seattle, WA

- Our first World Class corps of the day, the Seattle Cascades!

- Kicking this block off quickly and fast! A nice start. 

- Great energy from the front ensemble, keeping up with exactly what's going on behind them. 

- Love this portion where the 'boundaries' become more like props

- I spy the vibraphones using Burton grip... I think? Very hard to tell with the glare of the lights on the keys

- A nice bass feature on side two there, and tossing it over to the snares and quads, before eventually becoming a full drum feature.

- Thank you for a great show, Cascades! 


Jersey Surf - Camden County, NJ

- Here come the ombre blue uniforms that just look SO cool

- The wave set is so perfect. Mimics their old uniforms with the wave on them too!

- And here comes ANOTHER wave. It creates such a wonderful transformation 

- Each 'fish' is a different subsection! Rifles, sabers, dancers, etc. 

- And they all come together with the coral reef flag feature!

- Surf's up! Great show, thank you Jersey Surf. 


Music City - Nashville, TN

- The drumline is already in character on the back sideline, swinging their tails around

- Love that the mice ran out from the tunnel, that moment has evolved over the different venues, but this entrance was the best. Atlanta's was also pretty cool. 

- Those sinister-looking mouse flags are wilding looking when the guard is spinning

- That 'No Mice' set will never get old to me. So clever

- Some great work across the board from the guard here. They even incorporate the tail into their work which is wild. 

- The switch to the entire guard in plain mice costumes is so great, matched with the tie-dye mouse flags. You can't help but smile watching this closer!

Genesis - Austin, TX

- The Mother Nature uniform looks different from what I remember, uniform change? 

- Kudos to the front ensemble member rocking those windchimes, like actual windchimes, at the beginning, too. 

- What a build-up to that first major hit! It really takes awhile but it is so worth the wait. It adds to the story and helps develop it well. 

- That kitchen sink in the front ensemble will never NOT be funny

- The stair-steps on the props create all sorts of great visual staging moments. We've already had them to the side, and now the front-facing moment is here! With a beautiful flag feature to back it up. 

- Really strong showing from one of the Texas teams today. Thank you, Genesis!


Troopers - Casper, WY

- These Troopers tarps are so incredibly colorful. Love the rainbow effect!

- Great flow from that opening choreography upfront, it's a seamless transition from the pre-show into the actual show

- The flags match the gradient of the tarps! 

- The end of the ballad where the drums come back in is yet another beautiful moment, everyone spread across the field, so many bright colors. 

- When a boundary is crossed, everything becomes chaos, really tying the show together

- Definitely unlike any show that the Troopers have ever done before, ushering in a new era. Thank you, Troopers!


Madison Scouts - Madison, WI

- ON THE STARTING LINE. Old school vibes being served up by the Scouts this year

- Already a few strong moments from the colorguard, including a few killer rifle tosses

- No one can say that the Scouts can't march and play! This is also the loudest the crowd has been all day so far! Definitely a crowd-pleaser. 

- Welcome back the drumline with a sweet bass feature. 

- Another classic, the Fleur De Lis set, makes you think it's all over but not quite yet

- Company front! What drum corps fan doesn't recognize and love that

- A show full of classics from the Scouts, thank you! 


Pacific Crest - Diamond Bar, CA

- Really interesting that Pacific Crest needs to have a disclaimer on their show. It makes sense, but I don't know if there's ever been a show before that's required that

- Another bit of opening choreography that's eerie, but definitely matches the tone of the show

- The lights on the props look so great in person! 

- The lights are even executed at an incredibly high level. They're not just on or off. They can fade, they definitely add something to the show. 

- Trumpet feature on the 35! 

- Okay yeah, when they strobe the props, I can definitely see how they need to have a warning for that. 

- Nice moment for the cymbals, ending the show on the platform! 

- Lovely colorful ending, thank you Pacific Crest! 


Another intermission, folks! While the live blog will be back in an hour, the stream will not be. Tonight's top 15 are being broadcast live in theaters across America and as a result, are not being streamed by FloMarching. Tomorrow's first corps will be stepping off at 2pm. 


Seattle Cascades - 73.7

Jersey Surf - 76.413 

Music City - 76.588

Genesis - 78.163

Troopers - 80.85

Madison Scouts - 81.025

Pacific Crest - 83.925


With that being said, this is the current leaderboard: 

1Pacific Crest83.925
2Madison Scouts81.025
3Troopers80.850
4Spartans80.400
5Genesis78.163
6Legends78.075
7Gold76.825
8Music City76.588
9Jersey Surf76.413
10Seattle Cascades73.700
11Louisiana Stars73.600
12Southwind72.363
13River City Rhythm71.075
14Guardians70.975
157th Regiment70.475
16Golden Empire68.475
17Shadow66.300
18Colt Cadets64.425
19Les Stentors63.150
20Raiders62.450
21Heat Wave60.050


Colts - Dubuque, IA

- We're back from intermission, and hello to everyone following the blog from the theater! Hope you've got some popcorn ready because the Colts are on fire this year! Literally and figuratively. 

- Quite the eerie start from the Colts with the movement of the black drapes, it's just a little unsettling. 

- When the corps emerged, the crowd cheered! Super cool effect to just have them emerge like that. A lot of cool ways to hide an entire drum corps going on in DCI these days

- Spinning the pitchforks, especially with the attached silks, just more visual fun

- The way that they "freeze" hell over by doing a quick change is incredibly effective

- And ending it all spread across the field from 10 to 10! Beautiful job, Colts!


The Academy - Tempe, AZ

- The orange props really pop on the field, definitely a good choice there. 

- Opening hit was incredibly loud, and beautiful with the colorguard working on a flag feature over on side one

- SO MANY TROMBONES! I think I counted 24 total? 

- When the hornline gets up from the field vertebrae by vertebrae, that is so difficult to actually do. SO much core strength required. 

- When the corps starts to jazz run, you can see the orange from their capes peek out, it's a nice pop against the mostly white uniforms. 

- This version of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' is just so good. 

- Major brass feature moment, with a little extra trombone on top of it all adding some color. Lots of tricky stuff within the feature too. 

- Bunch of little quotes of 'London Bridge' in that closer. Great run, Academy!


Spirit of Atlanta - Atlanta, GA

- Were there always LEDs on those stairs down?

- Woah front ensemble throwing down with that run right out of the gate. 

- Spirit's brass sounds VERY good this year. 

- The metallic clappers in the front ensemble made me smile. It's the little things. 

- Going from all black to all white is such a dramatic change on the field

- YES the colorguard is absolutely destroying this swing flag feature. Absolutely nailing it. 

- Here comes the drumline to bring that tempo back up!

- Wow. They started that closer and absolutely pushed it to the end. What an incredible run. 


Phantom Regiment - Rockford, IL

- That pre-show is incredibly emotional. The performer acting as 'Joan' is giving that her absolute all and you can tell. 

- Big cross set to match the uniforms, love it. 

- 'Fire of Eternal Glory' is such a powerful tune, and then it melts right into a drum feature, meaning we don't get to hear the good parts... yet. 

- That really ugly chord really brings about a sense of nervousness, and anxiety. With the corps proper surrounding the drumline and front

- 'Fire' is back! 

- The shield drill is so fitting! A nice end to the ballad

- Another incredible push to the finish with someone even burned at the stake! Another great run from Phantom. 


Crossmen - San Antonio, TX

- I spy Bones! Do you see him?!

- Lots of performance even coming from the tunnel! What an entrance for the Crossmen! 

- I wonder how many times the drum major had to practice that... not quite a salute but she acknowledges the crowd and then immediately conducts. It was just seamless. 

- What a guitar solo! 

- The 'stamp stamp clap' is one of the funnest crowd participation moments of the season so far. 

- The front ensemble taking us to a quieter moment, but still playing a LOT of notes. 

- The new backdrop is just an even more dramatic addition to an already incredibly energetic show. What an incredible run. 


Mandarins - Sacramento, CA

- Another dark start to the Mandarins show. Dark shows seem to be what they're known for at this point. 

- Out of the tunnel comes our character with a bright lantern. I don't know if he knows what's about to hit him. 

- A bunch of well-done trick rifle tosses across the board, nice job. 

- That chord at the end of the ballad on side one was simply great. 

- YES, love the sound of a good ensemble rifle catch. 

- Wow. They killed that guy and threw him off the prop. That must feel wild to get thrown off of a prop on a bungee like that. And then have a crowd of people cheer about it... 


We're on our last intermission of the night, folks! Stretch those legs, I know mine are KILLING me right about now. It's been a long day and we still have 9 corps to go!


We got some more scores!

The Colts - 83.825

The Academy - 83.9

Spirit of Atlanta - 85.25

Phantom Regiment - 87.375 

Crossmen - 87.163 

Mandarins - 88.85 


The Cadets - Allentown, PA 

- The Cadets are taking the field to start our last block of performances for the day!

- The guard is pulling out all the stops from the first hit on. Some great flag work already

- Nice work from the snares on the feature, side two. 

- As distracting as big props can be sometimes, the guard coming out from behind the prop with their water-esque flags billowing was a really cool effect

- The same can be said for the entire corps running in and around it in circles. It's a bit disorienting because it makes the corps seem way bigger than they're allowed to be, but still very cool

- The horns have sounded great this whole show and they really shined both during the ballad and pushing to the end of this closer. Some classic Cadets power is shown. 


Blue Stars - La Crosse, WI

- The makeover for the side two props look really great

- The front ensemble killing the game one the front sideline with some speedy licks

- It's wild how you can condense a hornline down to the small tarp they were on down on side two but just space them out wider and they take up the whole field. 

- Speaking of drill, Blue Stars making some MOVES today. 

- The sunset flags are beautiful! Love the rich purple color for the sky

- Bassline kicking off the next movement and bringing the battery with them for a feature

- Nice job front ensemble on that really fast close together lick

- Another really fun show today, thank you Blue Stars!


Blue Knights - Denver, CO

- Love how the mirrors eclipse some of the soloists at the right angle, cool effect

- The quad line took the front seat for the percussion section for a bit there. It wasn't really a feature, but definitely different 

- So many soloists sprinkled into this show, all of them with a nice crisp sound

- Snares kinda doing their own thing over on side one with the rolls during the ballad, but we're here for it.

- Brass sounded great throughout the whole ballad, even doing some choreo in the middle there

- The bassline is laying down a nice beat to kick this tune forward in tempo a bit, had me bobbing my head

- Another great run from the Blue Knights! Thank you!


The Cavaliers - Rosemont, IL

- You know the Cavaliers are ready when you hear them yell 'SPLOOIE!'

- Really strong sound out of the Cavaliers brass tonight, wow

- And the Cavaliers front ensemble are always ones to impress with clean, quick runs

- Those four trombones really added a lot of color to that little interlude

- Seeing lots of dynamic range from the Cavaliers this year, too. The drum corps community can focus on LOUD sometimes, but it's also important to play softly

- That last movement was so strong I thought it was the end of the show for sure, but looks like we have a little bit more left. Wow!

- And boy did they not disappoint! Ending the show with quite the bang!


Boston Crusaders - Boston, MA

- Here come the giants taking the field! 

- Boston's props are so unique, they allow for a lot of different movement options on top of them, like making that 'Goliath' for example

- The Crusader's guard are absolute show stoppers. There's no wonder that they've been excelling in colorguard  on the judge's sheets again this year

- The song 'My Shot' is so well suited to drum corps, where your whole season is about exactly that. 

- Absolutely incredible how those guard members move around those props. Wild. 

- Goliath is so menacing! The toss through his legs is just one of those crazy drum corps things

- There have been a LOT of deaths in drum corps before, but I don't think there have ever been any that bloody before! Incredible show, Boston!


Carolina Crown - Fort Mill, SC

- Kicking it off quick, Crown is off to the races, and this isn't 2007's Triple Crown

- And the front ensemble matching the pace with some two mallet runs!

- The hornline is certainly running around quite a bit too, the detail in the pattern is movement after all... 

- The stage is a great area for what seems like the constant brass features of smaller ensembles

- Crown's front ensemble has had some of the most unique instruments of the day so far. A lot of different sounds, especially from the back row vibes. We also had a clapping ensemble.

- You've gotta park and bark the Crown set at the end! 


Santa Clara Vanguard - Santa Clara, CA

- Leading off the beginning with the drumline, which Santa Clara has gotten a lot of recognition for in recent years

- Another great hornline with Santa Clara, too! 

- Love how they just climb up the props with reckless abandon! It's all a part of the character of the show. 

- That sousaphone is still so surprising to see out on the drum corps field. The performer looks like he's having a blast, too! 

- These props seriously make the soloists look so cool, mostly because they're able to lean on the side, and also use it like a fire pole to slide down. 

- The individuality allowed by the performers in a show like this is so fun to see. It's great to see personality shine through


Blue Devils - Concord, CA

- If you haven't seen this show before, keep an eye on the props. They're incredibly versatile and change quite a bit throughout. 

- Probably one of the coolest opens to a show this season. 

- Excellent open from the trumpets! 

- I told you about the props, didn't I?! So cool. 

- Getting a little bit of Britney up in here, nobody's mad about that. Even if it's a little unorthodox. 

- Really cool set from the brass, as they rotate around the prop circle

- The tap shoes for a "drum break" is just so clever and I can't imagine how much time went into rehearsing that stuff. Yikes. 

- Absolutely incredible show from the Blue Devils! So great from top to bottom. 


Bluecoats - Canton, OH

- The Bluecoats are on the field getting ready to serenade us with our favorite Beatles tunes

- Love the way they give each song a character that embodies the song, and each one is so incredibly different

- Bluecoats front ensemble also throwing some down some notes!

- There are so many great brass moments in this show, they're hard to keep up with

- A good dance break for the colorguard is always fun, especially in a softer moment

- Naturally the basses kick-off 'Come Together' it plain old just makes sense

- And just when you think they're done! They come at you with 'Hey Jude!'

- A truly unparalleled amount of energy with the ending of that show tonight, from the performers and the crowd!


And that is it for tonight everyone! After over 12 hours of drum corps, I'm signing off for the evening. It's been a pleasure talking band all day with you all, and hope you'll be tuning in tomorrow. 

To my knowledge, there won't be a live blog tomorrow, but you can still stream starting at 2pm on FloMarching. 


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Dan Schack is the Battery Coordinator/Choreographer of Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps and the Creative Director of George Mason University Indoor Drumline. Outside of his musical endeavors, Dan is pursuing a Ph.D. in English at the University of Delaware.

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